Sources: Crist picks teachers union leader as running mate

Aug 26, 2022, 2:40 PM | Updated: 2:52 pm

TALLAHASSEE, Fla. (AP) — Democratic gubernatorial nominee Charlie Crist is expected to announce that he has chosen the Miami-Dade County teachers union president to be his running mate as he challenges Republican Gov. Ron DeSantis, two people close to the campaign said Friday.

United Teachers of Dade President Karla Hernandez-Mats will be announced as Crist’s running mate on Saturday, according to the people, who spoke on condition of anonymity because the announcement hasn’t been made yet.

The pick will guarantee DeSantis’ education policy is an issue in the campaign. The governor has appealed to his conservative base by limiting discussions of race in schools; prohibiting discussion of LGBTQ issues in grades K-3 and limiting it in higher grades; forcing schools to publish the contents of their libraries and giving parents more control in selecting textbooks.

DeSantis also took action to punish school districts that enacted mask mandates during the COVID-19 pandemic. On Friday, he removed four Broward County school board members after a grand jury report on the 2018 Parkland high school shooting accused them of deceit and incompetence in handling a school safety program.

Hernandez-Mats advocated delaying students’ return to school in the fall of 2020 and continuing mask mandates in 2021, in defiance of DeSantis’ administration. She has also been critical of what opponents have dubbed the “Don’t Say Gay” law, which prohibits lessons on sexual orientation and gender identity.

Hernandez-Mats is the daughter of two Honduran immigrants who came to the U.S. in the 1970s. She has said she learned the importance of labor advocacy because her father had few rights as a farmworker after having been an accountant in his home country.

Hernandez-Mats was the first Hispanic to be elected to lead the United Teachers of Dade in 2016. The school district has more than 30,000 employees and more than 330,000 students. The American Federation of Teachers says Hernández-Mats helped lead an effort to hold a 2018 referendum in which voters approved a pay raise for public school teachers.

In 2010, she was picked as Teacher of the Year at Hialeah Middle School for her work with special needs children.

DeSantis is widely believed to be considering a bid for the presidency in 2024; winning a second term as governor would be the first step in that journey.


Gomez Licon reported from Miami.

Copyright © The Associated Press. All rights reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten or redistributed.


Haitian migrant Gerson Solay, 28, carries his daughter, Bianca, as he and his family cross into Can...
Associated Press

US, Canada to end loophole that allows asylum-seekers to move between countries

President Joe Biden and Canadian Prime Minister Justin Trudeau on Friday announced a plan to close a loophole to an immigration agreement.
2 days ago
Expert skateboarder Di'Orr Greenwood, an artist born and raised in the Navajo Nation in Arizona and...
Associated Press

Indigenous skateboard art featured on new stamps unveiled at Phoenix skate park

The Postal Service unveiled the “Art of the Skateboard" stamps at a Phoenix skate park, featuring designs from Indigenous artists.
2 days ago
(Facebook Photo/City of San Luis, Arizona)...
Associated Press

San Luis authorities receive complaints about 911 calls going across border

Authorities in San Luis say they are receiving more complaints about 911 calls mistakenly going across the border.
8 days ago
(Pexels Photo)...
Associated Press

Daylight saving time begins in most of US this weekend

No time change is observed in Hawaii, most of Arizona, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands, American Samoa, Guam and the Northern Marianas.
16 days ago
Mexican army soldiers prepare a search mission for four U.S. citizens kidnapped by gunmen in Matamo...
Associated Press

How the 4 abducted Americans in Mexico were located

The anonymous tip that led Mexican authorities to a remote shack where four abducted Americans were held described armed men and blindfolds.
16 days ago
Tom Brundy points to a newly built irrigation canal on one of the fields at his farm Tuesday, Feb. ...
Associated Press

Southwest farmers reluctant to idle farmland to save water

There is a growing sense that fallowing will have to be part of the solution to the increasingly desperate drought in the West.
23 days ago

Sponsored Articles

Fiesta Bowl Foundation

Celebrate 50 years of Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade magic!

Since its first production in the early 1970s, the Vrbo Fiesta Bowl Parade presented by Lerner & Rowe has been a staple of Valley traditions, bringing family fun and excitement to downtown Phoenix.
Quantum Fiber

How high-speed fiber internet edges out cable for everyday use

In a world where technology drives so much of our daily lives, a lack of high-speed internet can be a major issue.
Day & Night Air Conditioning, Heating and Plumbing

Prep the plumbing in your home just in time for the holidays

With the holidays approaching, it's important to know when your home is in need of heating and plumbing updates before more guests start to come around.
Sources: Crist picks teachers union leader as running mate